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“Whales, Whales, Whales” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hermanus Whale Cruises

Hermanus Whale Cruises
The Netherlands
Level Contributor
109 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Whales, Whales, Whales”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2012

We looked at the whales first from the land. We were able to see them but they were not very close to the shore. The whale caller mentioned there was a boat trip leaving at 12.00 which we could take and we did, the minibus collected us at the central view point and brought us to the boat. We had a very nice trip, the captain and guide really took the effort to show us whales, normally the trip is 2 hours, we were away for >2,5 as we were far out to have some nice views.
This is the only way to get close to the animals.
(not 100% sure which company we used, ask the whale caller)

Visited September 2012
Thank Welletjes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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121 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Level Contributor
46 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“whale of a time”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2012

i didn't have time to choose between the two operators and jumped into the boat just before it was leaving (check timings ahead), these chaps knew what they were doing, they had to look around for the whales a bit, but after around 30 minutes it was whales galore. it was great seeing these gentle giants bask in the sun, a bonus was an albino southern right. Plenty of dolphins on the way back, drinks and snacks are complimentary. i've watched whales from the shore but it is never the same as you see them up close from a boat. it could be quite chilly and windhave adequate protection.

Visited August 2012
2 Thank tricunfos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
59 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Expensive but awesome!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2011

The owner of the B&B referred us to this Whale Cruise company. Prior to the departure we were entertained with stories about the whales which was quite interesting. The boat is somewhat old as mentioned but if you are lucky to get on the top deck and are able to see whales then the you will have a great view!
It takes about 40 mins to get to where we could see whales. We spent about 20 minutes out there then headed back which took almost an hour because we were going against the wind. I was satisfied with the trip as we got to see whales. But my wallet was not too happy at the price. Adults were R600!!!! And also given that the water was so choppy, there should have been some sort of safety instruction about what should be done in case of emergencies.
Otherwise, this was a great experience. The boat left more or less on time and got back on schedule.

Visited October 2011
2 Thank amergalinpretoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ibigawa-cho, Japan
Level Contributor
23 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Hermanus Whalewatching”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2010

Hermanus was going to be a mixed bag for me,since it was my first time there,and i couldn't locate much information on the whale cruises online,esp reviews.I wasn't even sure HOW MANY cruises are there in total from Hermanus and Gansbaai.

The Gansbaai tour girl was very unhelpful with a big concern of mine-if you are a day tripper,coming for the Whale cruise and lunch,how do you stay back for a few hours to relax after your cruise.She was categorical that it was a Capetown pickup,straight to the boat,and back to Capetown.The costs were anyways on the steeper side and extra for the group pickup.The boat ride alone was 900 odd rand per person.She said that a self hired taxi drop off would be astronomical,and she was probably right.

For those of you who havent been,Hermanus is a good distance from Capetown-a beautiful drive,no doubt,with vineyards on the ocean(!!!) and a beautiful seaside town to boot.It warrants a self drive,and a few nights stay,especially in peak whale season,around august /september,when you can apparently see the whales from land.We didnt get as far as Gansbaai,since that was a further 30 min drive.Funnily,that and the Kelders are where the whales really hang out.Oh,for the right information before i went!!!!

So,I booked thru Percy tours,since Percy seemed affable and knowledgeable enough,and he happily got us a private taxi for a reasonable price(a mini fortune,but still better than the other rates).The driver John ,a local,would eventually take us around Hermanus,and stop for lunch too.He went out of his way to help us choose local wines,as well as local olive oil(yummmy).

The whale trip was another story.Percy said to us last minute that the Gansbaai trip we had booked thru him was cancelled on account of engine failure.We were thus shifted to Hermanus.I have been whalewatching in Costa Rica,Provincetown(Boston),Monterey and other cities around the world-the boat,and the crew/captain are KEY!!!If the boats are big commercial boats,you are at too much of a height to see anything.Informed crew,especially if there are marine biologists or experts on board,make a whale of a difference!!I was adamant that Percy put us on a small boat.To my dismay,the small boat turned out to be a little better than a glorified shipping vessel,and the crew no better than those on a fishing boat.There was one lookout who gave us information,when asked.There was not much of an attempt to scour the coast.We plonked in two parts of the ocean,on spotting one and two whales respectively,and rushed back to shore on the dot.Apparently,there is a permit law that is strict.Whatever the reason,we felt rushed.

I was hard put to decide if going with Percy's suggestion of the Hermanus Catamaran,instead of the small boat,would have made a difference-apparently,it had a more knowledeable captain.Would it have made even more of a difference if we had stuck with the Gansbaai operators?I really don't know.Coordinating the Hermanus pick ups and the boat rides seemed to have completely slipped out of my control at some point!!

I have been on intense whalewatching trips before,and unforunately,the limited time at sea,and it being July MEANT limited whales.I dont know where the 100 whales in the bay supposedly were.Oh well.

The area is super lovely,and romantic.I have heard that the whales breach sometimes,and you can see them from land- i would like to go to Gansbaai in the future in peak season to find out if that is true,or just a local legend to entice tourists!!

I also swear to eat no breakfast before i board a Hermanus cruise again-the swells are unlike anything i have ever seen- not recommended for those with motion sickness and a fear of choppy waters.

Happy Whale Watching!!!

24 Thank wanderernyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
50 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“Beautiful experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2010

There are a couple whale watching tours in Hermanus. The owner of the B&B recommended these guys because they are a long-time local business.

It probably was a good recommendation. The boat for the other company was more modern, but clearly less convenient for whale watching. For once, their boat was packed. And our boat had a top deck, which offered unimpeded views around the boat.

The whales did not show any preference though. If you are lucky, your boat will meet them. We saw a female with a calf in the distance -of course, she was shy. But then we run into two very playful individuals that came to the boat and kept swimming around us until it was time to go. It cannot get much better than that.

Just be prepared for the usual discomfort of a small boat. It can get cold, even if the sun is shining. And you can get seasick.

Hermanus is a beautiful town as well. Reserve some time to visit the seafront.

7 Thank spanish2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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